EVERETT — Nate Ness, 18, is the Renaissance man of Everett High School, with a wide range of interests that include drama, singing, books, service, Scouting, challenging academics — and experimenting with chemicals.
Question: You are involved in a lot. What’s your favorite right now?
Answer: I’d say at the moment drama club is my favorite thing to be involved with. I just finished up “Calvin Berger,” the last play. We were doing a shuffle cast, so all the leads switched off every night. As an ensemble member that was a fun experience for me because I got to take a different point of view every night. Now that the show is over, I’m going back to do improv every Monday.
Q: What was “Calvin Berger” about?
A: “Calvin Berger” is a modern adaption of the play “Cyrano de Bergerac.” Calvin has this overly large nose kind of thing, and that’s always been his insecurity. … The show is all about insecurity.
Q: For your ensemble role, you came up with your own back story to fit that?
A: I was Tony Ramone. … My character’s insecurity — people don’t really know much about him so he’s seen as this cool guy because he’s so mysterious, so he thinks that if people get to know him they won’t think he’s cool anymore.
Q: What do you like about drama?
A: I’d say the people. It’s really nice just being around a bunch of friends, making good music, and having a fun time in general.
Q: But that’s not all you’re doing … What else are you involved in?
A: Well, I’m less involved in Boy Scouts now, because now that I’m 18, I’ve aged out. But my final Court of Honor is coming up the beginning of this December where I’ll be getting my second Silver Eagle Palm. And also during the summers I’m still going to be a staff member at Boy Scout camp because I still want to be involved in some way.
Other than that, book club — I’m involved in that after school every Thursday. I’m president of that. Right now we’re planning our book club lock-in, where we stay in the A Building the entire day and watch movies. Our genre for this one is mystery books. We’ll have themed games, like a murder mystery kind of thing. … The last lock-in I was at we read “The Princess Bride.” I had already read that book and it was one of my favorite books of all time.
Q: How did you get involved in book club?
A: My freshman year my sister was the vice president of the book club so that’s how I got involved in it. … I’ve also always really enjoyed reading books, so I found my own little place there for after school.
Q: What are some of your favorite books?
A: I’d say my all-time favorite series of books is “The Maze Runner,” and I was really excited when that came out as a movie. It’s so hard to choose a favorite. “The Martian” … that was by far one of the funniest and greatest books I’ve ever read. And “The Princess Bride,” I already mentioned. Those are close to the top three at least.
Q: You are also in National Torch Honor Society. What do you do for that?
A: I’m running the induction ceremony this year as the parliamentarian to help introduce the new members that decided to join. We just do a bunch of service projects. Like last year we did an entire school clean-up — we picked up all the trash, scraped gum, helped clean all the classrooms and windows on the A Building.
Q: You have taken several college-level Advanced Placement classes and have near-perfect grades. Do you have a favorite subject?
A: My favorite subject is chemistry. I took AP chemistry last year and it’s always been one of my favorite things, like doing experiments in class. … I guess I like finding out about how everything works, why certain materials act certain ways and what properties they have. I guess it’s really fun to do experiments and test those properties. … That’s one of the majors I’m thinking about in college, definitely.
Q: Do you have a preferred college?
A: I guess Central Washington right now because I have a lot of friends that are going there and they also have a really good music program there, which I’m very passionate about.
Q: What type of music?
A: I love jazz music a lot. I’ve been in jazz choir for four years now and I’m the president of jazz choir. It’s just really fun. You get to do all sorts of awesome chords that you can’t do in regular choral music. … I’m a bass.
Q: Do you have any concerts coming up?
A: We are going to be having our winter concert on the 8th of December, and the day after the jazz choir is actually going to be going up to Leavenworth. Every year, the jazz choir has been invited over there to the annual tree-lighting festival and to carol around town there. I love Leavenworth in the winter. It is extremely cold — granted. But it’s fun. It’s great to see all the holiday cheer around that town. The lights are amazing.
Q: What did you do for your Eagle Scout project in Boy Scouts?
A: I did a project for the drama department at my old middle school, Evergreen Middle School. I made several portable storage shelves to transport props and costumes on out of some birch wood. My favorite part of the project was cleaning out the costume room, because when you open the door you can’t walk into that room 2 feet without running into something. … I got a real big hug from the director after that.
Q: You were voted Class Spirit King for Homecoming week. Is school spirit important to you?
A: I think it’s important for everybody to get involved in one thing at school. It’s a good thing to find a new activity, an activity that you may or may not enjoy, but it’s always good to keep growing in some way.
Q: What is it like to be at this stage in life?
A: I don’t know. It’s kind of hard to believe at the moment. I’ve been in high school for four years now. It’s hard to think about any other time in your life when all you’ve ever known is just going to school. But it’s definitely really exciting, being able to go to college and be independent and stuff.
Melissa Slager: firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3432 .